I have a notebook full of ideas. In the past weeks, I have been snapping away and taking notes to share writings about pregnancy tea's and hospital bags. In due time, these posts will surely be written. Tonight however, I feel like writing a very honest account of what it feels like for me, to have my second pregnancy journey slowly coming to an end.
The thing is, when a pregnancy ends, a new story just begins and so it is both a time of mourning and ultimate joy.
To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Soul and spirit are stretched - along with body - making pregnancy a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings. ~Anne Christian Buchanan and Debra K. Kingsporn, The Quickening Heart: A Journal for Expectant Mothers
Every day I find myself surprised at the fact, that only a few weeks, 21 days as of today (until the estimated due date) remain. Every morning that I wake up and prepare breakfast for me and my daughter brings me closer to meeting my son. I am not only in a state of pleasant excitement about meeting this little creature, but also in one of slight worry about how this new life will be like. Will it feel very organic to be a family of four? While my love will surely expand, will my attention and focus, too? Will this new being find its way into this world easily and be a good eater and sleeper? And how am I supposed to have dinner ready every night?
On one hand I can barely remember what it was like to feel the pains of postpartum recovery and the hurtful beginnings of every breastfeeding journey. I have moments where I feel I have forgotten all the wisdoms that came with my first child birth and postpartum period. At the same time, I feel this innate certainty that I will know exactly what to do this time around. It's like riding a bicycle. Isn't it?
Whereas the preparations for my daughter's birth were basically completed at this point and I literally did nothing but sit around, relax and enjoy this beautiful life inside my belly; with this child, I am still completely engulfed in the adventures of the everyday.
Surely, I'll get around to packing my in-case-of-emergency hospital bag this week. Maybe tomorrow I'll sew the newborn blanket, for which I bought the wonderful organic fabrics months ago. Oh yes, I should stock up on candles for the home birth and also it would be nice to finish the books I have started reading and re-reading from my first pregnancy.
Emotionally I'm somewhere between "I feel stressed, because there are only a few weeks left and there is so much that I haven't done" and "No worries, there's plenty of time still". Concern and deep inner peace are co-existing in my soul these days.
The same goes for birth itself. There are moments where I feel, with an astounding certainty that I will give birth to this child with ease, trust and the confidence of someone who has birthed before. Then, in some moments, my "thinking" brain chimes in and lectures me about the uncertainty of birth and I quickly have to distract myself, as I do not wish to fill myself up with worry and doubt and fear.
Again, feeling this way is surely natural, as I find myself both at the end of a journey and at the beginning of a journey.
For now, I keep getting up every morning and going about my day. Trying to get a few things done. More importantly though, trying to slow down and enjoy these last precious days of carrying this child under my heart.
The beauty of childbirth is, that no one but the baby knows its birthday. The people close to me, know that I am a major planner, always on time, always a notebook/a planner on hand. Surprises and unforeseen events frazzle me and I can not say I enjoy anything too spontaneous. For some odd reason though, I find waiting for a child to arrive, counting the days to the estimated due date, not knowing when the new life will make its appearance, very thrilling. I can full-heartedly accept the fact that I can't put my son's birthdate in my planner. It is an uncertain time, but a happy time for me. For my impatient self, it has been the only wait that is quite enjoyable, in the most indescribable way.